An interview with Evan Lee

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RENDERU.COM spoke to Evan Lee, a talented concept artist and illustrator from Taiwan. He took part in numerous art exhibitions, such as Angoulême Comics Festival (France), Anime Expo (Los Angeles), Craft and Folk Art Museum-The Fool's Journey (Los Angeles), ASIAGRAPH (Japan), Tokyo 101 Art Show (Japan), as a guest artist. After being an Art Director at a game company in Taipei for three years, Evan Lee has become a full-time freelancer working for clients worldwide.


RENDERU.COM: Hello, Mr. Evan Lee, can you tell us about yourself. When did you start drawing? Did you go to an art school?

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Evan Lee: Yes, I was graduated from one of the most famous art schools in Taiwan. I was born in a middle-class family, my father is a fabric texture designer, and my mom is an art teacher for children, so basically I was inspired by my parents a lot, I grew up being full of fun ideas! So I started to draw as early as I can remember. For me, painting is kind of my natural behavior.

RENDERU.COM: Your works have very difficult compositions with many objects inside and with very unusual angles of view. Can you tell us how do you plan your works and how do you merge all these objects in a harmonic drawing?

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Evan Lee: Ok, frankly it's all about the storytelling, I am an amateur photographer, so having a camera with me is a must-do thing when I travel. I love wide angles and Fish angle the most. In some circumstances, it's a good way to put all the things together in one composition. So when I want to include a story in my painting, it's very easy for me to do it by using this way. The point is, focusing on the visual guidance is one of the most important parts, the decision of color combination, and the volume of all the elements will affect the result. I'm still searching every time I'm dealing with it.

RENDERU.COM: After looking at your works I can tell that you love design. Where do you find an inspiration? Many of your drawings have incredible details, shapes and forms. Characters' dresses look like they were created by a genuine couturier. How do you unite all these forms in one view? Maybe you have a rule or a tip.

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Evan Lee: Ok, it's about how you find the happy accident when you combine the materials in your work, especially for the mech design. I'm not an engineer, therefore, having enough references before you jump into it is a very important thing to me. I usually collect about 30~40 pictures for the reference. Sometimes I am not only focused on the same form but also search for something different. For example, if I'm dealing with a space ship design, I might be collecting some vehicles like trains, fancy cars...etc.

RENDERU.COM: From your website I see that you are also engaged in photo and sculpture. You are a very talented illustrator and you can easily draw what you want to. However, your interest in photo and sculpture means that it gives you, as an artist, something that illustration can’t. What do you think about it?
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Evan Lee: Frankly, I used to work in a toy manufacturer in my country when I was finishing my military service. I'm a figure collector, it's one of my habits, so creating my own figure is always my goal, for sure. It's very different from finishing a 2D painting because you can hold it in your hand, touch it, feel it, and observe it. It's real.

RENDERU.COM: Let’s talk about your figures. Your style of human bodies drawing reminds me quick sketches of poses: you must use broad lines and curves to describe main forms and movements within a little amount of time. Characters look live and moving. What helped you in achieving this?

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Evan Lee: When I studied in an art college, we spent lots of time drawing croquis of characters for training, so I'm very used to adding the line work for increasing a silhouette, and the dynamic reinforcement as well.

RENDERU.COM: Do you draw studies now? If yes, can you tell what kind of studies do you draw?
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Evan Lee: Yes, I do, sometimes I just test different brushes, or draw something very randomly, mostly environment sketches.

RENDERU.COM: Do you have a favorite genre or theme for drawing?

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Evan Lee: Oh! I always put a character inside my painting, mostly a female one! I can't bear with a scene when there is no character in it! Lol!

RENDERU.COM: Do you have plans regarding your artistic skills? Maybe you want to draw with traditional mediums or learn sculpture and photography more deeply.

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Evan Lee: Sure, I have. There are lots of skill one need to learn as an artist. But frankly, I don't think playing with the traditional mediums is an option for me, I don't have motivation for that. I don't have enough space to store my real painting in my house....Lol!

RENDERU.COM: Do you have your favorite artists whose art has influenced you?

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Evan Lee: I started approaching manga when I was a kid. Just like every normal boy, we love the character who has the super power, maybe a hero or someone fancy ~ "Dragon Ball" totally fits my taste! Therefore, I think Akira Toriyama is the first one who influences me the most, he is also one of my favorite artists. As time goes by, I shift my taste. I started being fascinated by some contemporary architectural, especially the minimalist design. So now I am a big fan of Tadao Ando.

RENDERU.COM: Do you feel tired when you work on one or another project/painting and you don’t know what to draw or even don’t want to? How do you relax after drawing (sport, travelling or something else)? Do you have a hobby?

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Evan Lee: Yes, I go to gym 6 days a week, almost every day. I believe when you have a lack of ideas, or when you have a restriction of your skill, exercising is also one of the best solutions to help you to come through it.

RENDERU.COM: What is your favorite book, movie (animation), and computer game?

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Evan Lee: Wow, too many for each one. For the book, it must be manga. And my favorite movie is “Dark city”. I love FPS game, so I will say Call of Duty.

RENDERU.COM: In your opinion, what is the most important thing for an artist?

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Evan Lee: This question is very easy: pursue your passion! Like the first time when you approach anything about Art. I know some of the students who learn about art. After they graduate from school, the majority of them might jump into this industry. But years later, they probably realize the real situation might not be easy to accept. They can't do anything they want, every client has its own requirements, and you have to fit it. So most of them eventually lose their passion, they forget why they want to be an artist.


RENDERU.COM: What kind of advise could you give to the young artists?


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Evan Lee: The same answer as for the last question. Just follow your passion.


RENDERU.COM: What is your favorite pet (if you have one)?


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Evan Lee: Oh, I don't have any pets, lol~

RENDERU.COM: Can you describe Russia with 3 words?

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Evan Lee: Vodka! Vodka! Vodka!

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